Date Release: 9 February 2017
2017 Angels Walk for Persons with ASD
About 24,000 people participated in the 2017 Angels Walk in observance of the 21st National Autism Consciousness Week (NACW) conducted on 5 February 2017 at SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City. The theme for this year is “Onwards to An Autism-Ok ASEAN”.
The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) supports the campaign believing
that a disabled child has the right to special care, education and training to help
him or her enjoy a full and decent life in dignity and achieve the greatest
degree of self-reliance and social integration possible (source: CRC).
Photo Caption :from the right, DSWD Photo Caption: ASD performers Photo Caption: CWC Personnel
Usec Ma. LourdesTuralde-Jarabe,
NCDA Acting Dir. Carmen Zubiaga with
the new national Trustees of the ASP
The event aimed for greater attention and assistance to the condition of Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) globally which led to the participation of the ASEAN Heads of delegation namely HE DR. AKP Mochtan, Dep Sec. Gen. ASEAN; Mr. Akiie Ninomiya, Executive Director of APCD; Mr. Rizaany Irwan Muhammad Mazlan, Counsellor, Embassy of Malaysia; and, Ms. Feilina Feisol, Chairperson, National Autism Society of Malaysia.
Globally, autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013. As of 2010, the number of people affected is estimated at about 1–2 per 1,000 worldwide. It occurs four to five times more often in boys than girls. About 1.5% of children in the United States (one in 68) are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as of 2014, a 30% increase from one in 88 in 2012. The rate of autism among adults aged 18 years and over in the United Kingdom is 1.1%. The number of people diagnosed has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice and government-subsidized financial incentives for named diagnoses (source: Wikipedia).
In the Philippines, estimated cases of autism rose from 500,000 in 2008 to one million people at present, the number could be much higher since there are still a lot of areas in the Philippines not covered. Health experts have attributed the increase to better detection methods, but genetics and environmental factors could also be among the causes (Source: Philippine Star).
The above data revealed that the number of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Philippines and other countries worldwide has almost doubled in the past six years and the number is still rising.
The event was attended by the Philippine delegations namely Cong. Yeddah Marie Romualdez, Legislator, Tacloban House of Rep.; Mr. Martin Romualdez among the Legislative Sponsors of R.A. 10754; Cong Emi Calixto-Rubiano, Legislator, Pasay House of Rep.; Ms. Carmen Zubiaga, Acting Exec. Dir. of NCDA; Ms. Hellen De La Vega, Asst. Sec., Office of ASEAN Affairs, DFA; DSWD Usec Ma. Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe, Office of the Undersecretary for Operations and Programs (promotive); Mr. Hans T. Sy Chairman of the Exec. Com. SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Mr. Jeffrey C, Lim, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; and Ms. Anna Maria S. Garcia, President of SM Supermalls.
Activities highlighted were the singing of the Philippine National Anthem inspired by ASP’s call for an Autism-OK Philippines, Praise Song led by Nica Escasinas, AOK-Talent Showcase, ASP Autism Angel Achievement Awards to Ms. Vell Baria, Induction of New National Trustees of the ASP, Mixed Fit Warm-UP led by Ms. Dona Lima, Opening Salvo rendered by NU Pep Squad, 4-time UAAP Cheerdance Champions, Welcome Message of Ms. Dang Koe, Chair, ASEAN Autism Network and the Autism Society Philippines and Engr. Bien Mateo, Director for the SM Cares PWD Program, Ms. Mona Magno-Veluz, National President, ASP, Angel Diva (a special performance from Ms. Regine Velasquez), and Angelic Messages from the International and Diplomatic Community, government agencies, and private sector leadership and the finale, which is the Parade Walk from the Mall of Asia Arena to the Music Hall.
Written by: Ma. Edna L. Estal, Psy M, LP
Public Affairs and Information Office
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